Tuesday, May 29, 2007

MATH Recap, and Cash Games Update

It was another fun time in the run for the roses as 36 players participated in a holiday-shortened MATH tournament field, one that saw many of the current BBT leaders bow out early due to various suckouts and just generally over-aggressive play. I made the BBT points again despite suffering not one not two but three hideous suckouts, all three of which where I double dog duped my opponent who took the bait hook line and sinker and then proceeded to hit his 3-to-1 or worse chance to steal thousands of chips from me. Phucking sick, but equally phucking typical. In the end I succumbed just after reaching the BBT points when I reraised allin with a soooted connector preflop on a shortish stack, and then proceeded to get called by someone for about 35% of their chips with...you guessed it...AJ. Of suit. As I told Bayne last night in the girly chat, at this point whenever a clown donkeycalls me for a big portion of their stack with the JackAce, I don't even stick around to watch. I just exit the tournament and move on to winning money at the cash tables. So I didn't need to wait around to see the Jack on the flop, I knew I was out but I will take the BBT points and leave it at that for the effort.

Anyways, back to the successful MATH runners, here are this week's cashers, out of 36 entrants, with 18 receiving BBT points and the top 4 cashing, a bit less for the MATH since the BBT rolled into town but not surprising given the holiday weekend:

4. In 4th place, winning $103.68 for his efforts, was perennial BBT tighty Blinders, who used a couple of very well-timed premium hands to swell his stack size after the BBT points were reached, executing excellently on the tight-early strategy for another fine BBT run and tournament cash.

3. 3rd place this week and $155.52 goes to NumbBono, who took the blogger world by storm earlier this year by winning I think his first ever Mookie tournament, and now is back this week with his first MATH cash of the year as well.

2. In second place this week is another big score for Tripjax, winning another $216 to add to his two other MATH cashes so far during the BBT. This also makes something like five consecutive weeks where either Trip or his brother ChapelncHill has cashed in the MATH. What a great poker-playing family.

1. And this week's winner, making I think his second MATH cash of the year, is NewinNov, who won $388.80 for his efforts in winning his first MATH title of 2007.

And now here are the updated 2007 MATH moneyboard standings as of this week's tournament:

1. Iggy $641
2. Astin $616
3. Columbo $606
4. Hoyazo $580
5. NewinNov $579
5. Bayne_s $579
7. Tripjax $561
8. Julius Goat $507
9. mtnrider81 $492
10. scots_chris $474
11. Fuel55 $458
12. Otis $429
13. Miami Don $402
14. Blinders $379
14. Chad $379
16. Pirate Wes $372
17. IslandBum1 $357
18. ChapelncHill $353
19. Zeem $330
20. Mike_Maloney $326
21. cmitch $312
21 oossuuu754 $312
23. VinNay $310
24. Waffles $294
25. Wigginx $288
26. ScottMc $282
27. Manik79 $252
28. Wippy1313 $248
29. Byron $234
30. RecessRampage $224
31. Omega_man_99 $210
32. lightning36 $205
33. bartonfa $180
34. 23Skidoo $176
35. Santa Clauss $170
36. Iakaris $162
36. Smokkee $162
38. NumbBono $156
39. lester000 $147
40. DDionysus $137
41. Pushmonkey72 $129
41. InstantTragedy $129
43. Buddydank $124
44. Ganton516 $114
45. Gracie $94
45. Scurvydog $94
47. Shag0103 $84
48. PhinCity $80
48. jeciimd $80
50. Alceste $71
51. dbirider $71
52. Easycure $67

So there you have it, including this week's winner NewinNov sliding up to a tie for 5th place on the 2007 Hoy moneyboard with his big Memorial Day takedown this week, and with NumbBono entering the moneyboard at #38 with his first MATH cash of the year. And there's me, still up in 4th place for the year despite my inability to cash in this event ever since the Watergate scandal, so I'm looking to help myself continue to slide down the board as the weeks progress in this thing. And congratulations again to all of this week's cashers, and to the 18 players who added some more BBT points to their leaderboard tallies as the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments looks to really heat up heading into the last month of the series.

So on the cash poker front, this was another very strong weekend for me, as I continue to run steaming hot at the $400 nl 6-max tables. Frankly, what I did this weekend was really calculated and almost embarrassing for me, and I have my doubts as to how fair it would even be considered to be by the other players involved. But, now that I have thousands and thousands of hands for over 2000 different players saved up on my Poker Tracker, I have started just going and searching out the biggest long-term donks to see who is online, using my PT stats as a filter, and then getting seats at their tables with those proven bad players on my right, and from there I just commence the abuse. And abuse these donkeys I have been doing.

Here were a couple of my biggest hands against these players, who for the most part are guys who are down around a couple grand or more over at least 1000 or hopefully more like 2000+ hands. So this way, I know these guys suck, and I have a high confidence that my sample size, although not optimal by a long shot, is sufficient for me to make some general judgments about the quality of their overall play. I mean, if a guy has had 29 sessions that I have recorded, has lost money in 22 of those sessions and is down, say, $2500 over 25 hours of play, I am ready to want that guy at my table. To my right, if at all possible, but I will take them anywhere to get to sit at the table with them.

In this hand, one of the big 2000+ hand losers open-raised from the cutoff to $14, which I reraised up to $44 from the big blind with AKs. My opponent then re-reraised allin for his last $220, leaving it at about another $175 to me to see a full board and take my chances:

In the end, this guy has lost so much money over time playing at 2-4 nl 6-max that I figured he could have a lot of different things, and I wasn't going to just put him on pocket Aces having made the third raise here. I figured a reasonable range for him was AK or JJ-AA. Against this range I liked my AKs -- and frankly, not to be a soooted donk or anything but the soootedness of my big slick really played into my decision here -- so I made the call, and found myself up against this:

Here is one interesting way that PT can actually hurt my play, I find. It can lead me to make decisions that are more based on past history, and less based on what I am observing in front of me during actual hand play. That's something I expect to work at over time, but for now I probably need to find a better balance between how much I weight what my instincts tell me, and how much weight I give to cold, hard, long-term(ish) statistics that I have on record. In any event, I was looking pretty grim there against pocket Aces, but never fear:

Booooooooom! God I love sucking out on people, especially at the cash tables. I think I made the right play here and I just love getting rewarded for that every once in a long while. Helps ease the pain just a little bit from the two $800+ pots I got sucked out on on Monday night alone at those same cash tables. That's right, four buyins down the drain on those two hands that should have both clearly been mine, in each case with me not getting all the money in until after the flop when my hand was at least a 3-to-1 favorite. Gross, but then I go get to experience suckouts like this one in my favor once in a while, so it's all good (I guess).

This next hand was against an even bigger money-loser, to the tune of over $3000 over the past few weeks that I have recorded stats on him, and here was one where it turns out there was just no way either one of us was not going to get this allin after the flop that came out. Basically, the fish raised it up preflop to $14 from the cutoff, and I elected to just smooth call from the small blind with pocket Aces. This of course is a variation play, but I like to throw in that kind of variation in this sort of situation, where I have little concern of a third player entering the hand by not reraising, and where the player making the initial raise plays a somewhat suspect brand of poker where I have reason to believe I could really get paid off with my ultimate overpair. So the flop comes AK8 with two spades, giving me the nuts with my set of Aces, so I lead out for $24 into the $30 pot. My opponent quickly reraises me:

OK so I know I have the current nuts here, I currently have my opponent covered, and he has more than 5 times the current bet still behind. Given his preflop raise and now his flop raise on the two-high-card board, I figured there was a decent chance I was up against AK or maybe AQ, either of which this known fishy player is likely to be willing to commit many chips with at this point given his stats so far on my Poker Tracker. So, I decide that the large reraise is my best move here:

He immediately moves allin over the top for his last $444 total (that move worked perfectly, huh?):

and check out what just happened to him:

Now this one is not a suckout of course as I was ahead on all streets including before the flop, but damn that is a setup if I ever saw one. It's not enough that he has the pocket Kings, and it's not enough that he hits his set on the flop. The flop also happens to contain an Ace, the most likely card for me to be holding given my own responses to his actions thus far in the hand, and what's worse, I have actually made top set on the flop where he has also made 2nd set with pocket Kings. That is rough. Rough, to the tune of $916 and change into my stack:

Sweet. And both of these guys have lost even more money now at 2-4 6-max thanks to me. And I'm all too happy to oblige.

Before I go, here are some more interesting Poker Tracker stats for my play so far at the cash tables since I got PT working a few weeks back:

Notice I am now the third most profitable player out of 2284 players I have tracked at the 1-2, 2-4 and 3-6 tables this month. So more confirmation that I am running very, very hot of late, though to be honest I am still getting sucked out on far more than I am the one doing the sucking out. So it's not like these results are based on luck at all, given what I've seen in the actual hands I've played to achieve these results. I am just consistently a winner at the cash games it seems, be it with bloggers or otherwise, and I know that table selection, and choosing actively to play with donks is a large part of the reason behind that success. I also found it interesting, however, that my Win % at Showdown (WSD) has now dropped to just under 47%, a stat which seems to be slowly dropping to the point that now it is the third worst among the 19 most profitable players appearing on this screen of my Poker Tracker. So I know I have simply got to get that number back solidly above 50% if I expect to be making high quality poker decisions in all aspects of my game, and in particular before I start thinking about another move up in stakes I want to prove to myself that I can get my WSD number more in-line with where I think it needs to be to be optimal.

In the middle of this screenshot you can see my most profitable hands listed:

Not surprisingly, pocket Aces is up at the top, but probably very surprisingly (certainly to me, and I think to this guy as well who claims he can't win with this hand to save his life) is that my second most profitable starting hand overall has amazingly been AQo. Yes that's right, not even sooooted. I've been dealt AQo an inordinately large number of 24 times, and of those instances, I have won 17 of those hands for a total profit of nearly $650 or over 1.5 buyins just with AQo. That's always good when you can turn a trouble hand like that into a consistent, measurable profit. Funny enough, each of my #2, #3 and #4 most profitable hands are all trouble hands, with AQo followed by the even lowlier T9o, and then by the fish trap known as KJs. So somehow, I am making it work with a number of typically questionable hands, which is obviously a big source of my profit so far through a little over 2000 hands of almost exclusively 2-4 play as far as what is recorded on my Poker Tracker database.

All that being said, a number of these "trouble" sort of hands are still costing me bigtime, as can be seen from this screenshot at the other end of the spectrum, my least profitable (biggest loss) hands over the past 2000+ hands I've played:

Right at the top (bottom) of the list, you will find everybody's friend KTs, which I have only managed to win at all with once out of the 9 times I have been dealt the hand. I think I always overplay this hand in particular, it is something I have specifically noted before but at the same time, being able to see it right here in statistical evidence form is always a great way to drive home that point. Make no mistake about it, KT (even sooooted) is trash in no-limit cash, and it needs to be treated as such, and you can bet I will be internalizing that further as my game progresses over the coming days and weeks. Other similar trouble hands like QJo and 98s also make appearances on this "least profitable" list, so I know I need to try to focus more on limiting my losses with hands that are easily dominatable and/or most likely subject to made straights, straight draws and even two pairs when I connect with them. Also on this list are a couple of random Ace-rag hands, which is not at all characteristic of my game but which I have a number of special circumstances for why I played these hands as often as I did and as far as I did in each case, and, annoyingly JJ is also sitting there as my fourth least profitable hand. Meh indeed.

OK I think that's all for today. I will try to be in the WWdN tonight at 8:30pm ET on pokerstars (password is "monkey" as always), but I don't know that I can get back from the gym in time so I may end up sitting that one out, but I'll almost certainly be back at the $400 nl 6-max tables at some point this evening to continue my assault on daily profitability from what I still view as generally the very formulaic play I routinely see at this limit. I may even dabble a bit in 3-6 just to see what that is all about, as most of the players I play with at 2-4 seem to play in 3-6 as well from what I've seen, but otherwise I should be hitting up the usual mtt stuff as well as some cash play during my poker evening tonight.

And did I mention that I'm leaving for Las Vegas in 8 days?! Eight. Fucking. Days. To say that I can't wait would be the understatement of the year. I have a WSOP elimination here just waiting for Joe Hachem to sit at my table. Digweed.

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Blogger TripJax said...

My bro made the final table too, but bowed out early in the quest for the cash.

I was wondering what you were thinking about the hand where I had JJ and flopped a set, but with a scary board. I can't remember exact details of the hand 'cause I'm at work and can't look at HH's, but from what I recall you flopped the nut straight.

Were you counting that hand in your hideous suckouts. I'd say I had 7 outs there, but still not an easy hand to take when you flop the nut straight and lose the hand in the end after getting all the chips in the middle in that fashion.

Anyway, as always, thanks for running the MATH. I was really wanting to take it down last night...maybe next time...

2:32 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Regarding wins at showdown - the percentage is really irrelevant. What matters is the pot size of the winners compared to the pot size of the losers. I show down a lot of losers for really small pots and see it as largely inconsequential.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Trip, that hand was a suckout for sure. I flopped the nut straight with two overcards, and you got allin with me on the flop with your set of Jacks. You basically had three 9s, three Tens and one more Jack for 7 outs on the turn, and then it would have been 10 more outs on the river since you could have paired one of the three turn cards as well to make your boat. So it's 17 outs total, making you about a 2-to-1 dog (that number is not exact). But 2-to-1 is surely a suckout in my book, in particular again when I've waited until after the flop to get the money into the middle.

That said, losing that 2-to-1 favorite was actually not nearly as bad as the other two ghey suckouts I was dealt at the MATH last night. In all, I've gotten sucked out on way more than my fair share over the past month or so of MATH tournaments. It's a wonder I'm making the points in any of these things.

No offense intended -- obviously there is no way in living hell that you ever fold that set in your shoes. Just sucks that I can't get a significant favorite to hold up even with just two cards to come. But that's me in the Hoy lately. Sucks. But another great run from you man, wtg.

2:44 AM  
Blogger KajaPoker said...

I think using PT to track the fish is probably the best reason to own PT. Far outweighs any analysis you can do on your own play.

The funny thing is that these two suckers actually had a Waffley bad night. I think everyone goes broke on those two hands no matter how fishy or rocky they are.

What struck me as unbelievable is that out of the 6 times you got dealt Aces you never lost once. Now that's a real achievement.

2:45 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Looking forward to having steak with you HOY here in Vegas. Yesterday was my last bloggerment, I just can't give up the valuable monitor space to that crap anymore haha!

2:49 AM  
Blogger TripJax said...

I don't take offense in poker...or at least I try not to anymore.

That was just one of those action hands.

Thanks for replying so quickly.

On a side note, I'm gonna miss chad's buy-ins in the blonkaments. Don't leave us chad!

3:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So blinds about 150/300 you jam over the top of the chip leaders open raise (1k), for your entire stack (5k-ish) with a medium suited connector (98s), and freak out when he calls you with a better (and ahead) hand for 1/3 of his monster stack. You then can't watch even though if he misses he still wins.

It looked to me like you wanted to be eliminated there. Resteal against a shorter stack if you don't want a call.

If you continue to use PT for table selection like you are describing, you will be very successful at the cash games. Table selection is very under-rated, but is probably the easiest way to improve your win rate. At 6-max table selection is probably even more important.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah table selection is proving to be the quickest and easiest way to use poker tracker profitably. In fact, even before I had PT I was employing my own selection criteria on these tables 100% of the time, you have to if you want to play it right.

p.s. your opinion about my elimination play in the Hoy is predictably laughable. Keep that stuff coming.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

are your PT stats from your tables only, or are you mining data with open tables that you observe, don't sit at. Can you do that with PT, I thought so, but can't seem to get that to work.

9:08 PM  

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